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Recognizing Personality Disorders


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 An individual’s interpersonal style is almost immediately upon meeting them. Is that a person someone who seems friendly, easy going, and amiable? Or do you pick up the vibe of someone who is suspicious, closed-minded, and cold? It’s often easy to spot someone who seems just a bit “too” friendly and who you soon discover to be insincere or possibly unaware of boundaries.

University of Minnesota psychologist Sylvia Wilson and colleagues (2017) took the perspective of interpersonal theory to examine the interpersonal styles associated with each personality disorder.Their research proposes that all personality traits can be cataloged on the dimensions of agency (ranging from domination to submissiveness) and communion (ranging from warmth to coldness).There are eight different personality disorders. The eight traits identified in this manner are as follows: domineering, vindictive, cold, socially avoidant, non-assertive, exploitable, overly nurturant, and intrusive.

Paranoid: Vindictive and cold stand out as the two predominant themes. To a lesser extent, people with this personality disorder are intrusive.

Schizoid: Coldness with a combination of social avoidance. It’s unlikely that schizoid individuals, according to the findings, will try to exploit you.

Schizotypal: score high on all three of the above traits—namely, vindictive, cold, and avoidant. odd, eccentric, and socially awkward behavior.

Antisocial: The extreme of the psychopathic personality, scored high on the traits of domineering, vindictive, and intrusive, coldness.

Borderline: Highest scores were on vindictive and intrusive. You might experience this sense when with someone who has this disorder, particularly when you feel that your boundaries are being violated and you’re being held accountable to an extreme degree for your behaviors and possible shortcomings.

Histrionic: This personality disorder is rarely diagnosed, and was almost eliminated in the new DSM and has high scores on domineering and, particularly, intrusiveness. These individuals are unlikely, to be cold and socially avoidant.

Narcissistic: Remarkably similar to antisocial in the interpersonal style model, high in domineering, vindictive, cold, and intrusive interpersonal style traits.

Avoidant: high on coldness and social avoidance, but low on domineering and intrusiveness.

When meeting a new person for the first time face to face you can see what kind of personality they have and if they have a disorder or if they do not. Most people with a personality disorder score high in needing or feeling like they need to be in control of everything, they need to be the dominant over others. It is not a gender thing it is sometimes brought up when they were a child and how they were influenced by friends and family and surroundings.

What to do about personality disorders?

  • Psychological therapy
  • Support from family, friends and community
  • Medication, in some circumstances.
  • Talk to a professional about treatment options.
  • Seek support from family and friends.
  • Get support 
  • Develop strategies to manage your symptoms in everyday life, including building better coping skills.

Factors of personality disorders

  • A family history of personality disorders or other mental illnesses
  • Abuse or neglect during childhood
  • An unstable or chaotic family life during childhood
  • Being diagnosed with childhood conduct disorder
  • Loss of parents through death, or a traumatic divorce, during childhood
  • Significant traumas.

People with a personality disorder do not choose to feel this way, and they are no way responsible for developing the disorder.

Everyone’s personality is unique. Personalities develop as people go through different life experiences. Most people are flexible enough to learn from past experiences and to change their behavior when needed.

Someone with a personality disorder finds it much harder to control their behavior. They experience extreme thoughts and feelings – so intense, they have trouble coping with day-to-day life. They act in ways they can’t control, and struggle to relate to situations and people. As a result of these challenges, people suffering from personality disorders often experience significant problems and limitations in their relationships, social encounters, work and schooling.

Symptoms of personality disorders

  • Frequent mood swings
  • Extreme dependence on other people
  • Narcissism (extreme vanity)
  • Stormy personal relationships
  • Social isolation
  • Angry outbursts
  • Suspicion and mistrust of others
  • Difficulty making friends
  • A need for instant gratification
  • Poor impulse control
  • Alcohol or substance abuse

Personality disorders aren’t diagnosed until 18 because the study of personality is in constant development. What is different for people with personality disorders is that their behavior is extreme and usually they’re unable to adapt to or change it.

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Recognizing Personality Disorders